Istanbul mayoral candidate Murat Korum (Getty Images)

The head of the Justice and Development Party, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on Sunday the names of the party's candidates for the presidency of 26 municipalities in Turkey in the local elections expected on March 31, which follows in importance the presidential and legislative elections, and will chart the country's political future for years to come.

Erdogan revealed the names of 11 candidates for the mayoralty of the following major cities: Istanbul, Aydin, Balıkesir, Bursa, Denizli, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Kocaeli, Mugla, Ordu and Samsun.

He also announced the names of 15 candidates for the mayors of Artvin, Bingol, Bitlis, Çanakkale, Jangiri, Düzge, Edirne, Elazig, Girasson, Isparta, Kastamonu, Riza, Sinop, Toukat and Yalova.

This came at a conference announcing the candidates of the Justice and Development Party at the Gulf Convention Center in Istanbul.

The Turkish president is expected to announce the names of the candidates for the rest of the 81 states in the next few days.

Recovering Istanbul

To mayor of Istanbul, which the AKP lost in the last election, Erdogan announced the candidacy of former minister and current parliamentarian Murat Korum.

Erdogan confirmed at a meeting of the heads of the branches of the Justice and Development Party at the end of last November that the main goal of the party is to restore the municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara.

Korom has a track record of rebuilding areas hit by natural disasters, most recently the states hit by the devastating earthquake in February, where he began the reconstruction process immediately, before resigning to run for parliament.

It is noteworthy that the Istanbul municipality did not leave the hands of Erdogan – the Justice and Development Party – from 1994 until 2019, and the Turkish president gives it an important place in his political and social life.

Source : Al Jazeera + Anatolia